Colin Turkington is targeting a better start to this year's HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship as he prepares for the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch, a traditional happy hunting ground for Team RAC.
Anticipation is high ahead of this year's championship race, with Turkington amongst those tipped to prevent Fabrizio Giovanardi from claiming a third successive BTCC crown.
However, the Northern Irishman is aware that he will need to begin his season in better style than he managed in 2008, when a handful of problems allowed the more consistent Giovanardi and Jason Plato to get away from him in the standings.
Nonetheless, the BMW 320si has gone well at Brands Hatch in the past, Turkington prevailing in a memorable duel with Mat Jackson twelve months ago. He is confident that minor improvements will make a big difference this year.
“The team has made small improvements to the car, positive improvements, but all of these improvements add up. Confidence is high in the camp. The key to a season is a good start, something we perhaps did not quite manage last year until the middle of the season.
“Team RAC has a good history in the BMW at Brands. I claimed pole two years ago while Stephen took pole last September. This year we have made improvements which we hope will work to our advantage on every track all of the time to give us the best possible chance.”
After a patchy maiden campaign in tin-tops, Turkington's team-mate Stephen Jelley kicks off his year at the scene of his finest 2008 moment, when he scored a pole position at the Brands Hatch season finale. It is a performance he is eager to replicate.
“Pre-season has gone very well and allowed us to get some quality driving hours under our belt. Everything has been really positive and I am feeling very comfortable in the car compared to this time last year.
“We have a good car which is historically quick at Brands Hatch. All the boxes appear to be ticked – now we have just got to go out on the track and show our quality.”